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So I have this secret organization that needs to eliminate most of the humans on Earth. They have designed bunkers to save the right amount of people, but in order to start over they need to remove everyone else. Naturally, they figured that orbiting death satellites would do the trick, but they aren’t sure what kind of weapon would fit their purposes best.

Some clarification. They don’t want to destroy the planet, render the surface uninhabitable for any long period of times, or completely sterilize the surface. The only goal here is to destroy all human life on the surface of the planet. What orbital weapons, or combinations of weapons, would do this the best? The more apocalyptic it looks the better!

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closed as off-topic by Mołot, Renan, Aify, L.Dutch, Azuaron Feb 26 '18 at 19:46

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  • $\begingroup$ Is it acceptable if it kills animal life as well, or does it have to only kill humans? (Obviously if it kills all animals, that violates the "don't sterilise the surface" requirement.) $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Feb 26 '18 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah it can kill other stuff, but all it HAS to kill is humans. $\endgroup$ – Nick Feb 26 '18 at 17:19
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    $\begingroup$ probably better to use targeted biological weapons if all you want to do is kill humans. $\endgroup$ – A. C. A. C. Feb 26 '18 at 17:27
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    $\begingroup$ Bio engineered disease. Can target only humans, is capable of killing lots of people, spreads on its own, can be made to be unable to survive without hosts. If you want to use orbital weapons, then load the capsules with the pathogen and then target major centers. You can eliminate the lone survivors with your soldiers later, or target them with rockets or rail guns. The bad guys should have a cure, just in case things go south. $\endgroup$ – Nuloen The Seeker Feb 26 '18 at 17:34
  • $\begingroup$ What tech level are we talking about, and how much are they planning to spend on it? $\endgroup$ – Renan Feb 26 '18 at 18:04
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Orbital bio-weapon deployment

Hit the world with a super-bug like MRSA, something our modern medicines are fairly ineffective against. Lab-design it to be highly infectious with a high mortality rate. Simultaneous mass outbreaks all over the globe in major population centers should have a devastating effect, killing off a large percentage of the population in fairly short order.

The advantage of weaponized pathogens is that, as the host population is depleted, the outbreak dies down. So you'll have to wait a bit, but the Earth will be left largely intact. You'll still probably have antibiotic-resistant bacteria floating around, but the people that managed to survive it aren't going to be as susceptible to it anyway. There's some likelihood that the pathogen mutates and moves to a new host species, but it's highly unlikely to kill everything on Earth unless you design it to be incredibly mutagenic.

On top of all that, pathogen outbreaks often form the basis for "realistic" zombie apocalypse stories, so your result should be suitably Hollywood-apocalyptic. Lots of empty cities and scattered survivors in rural areas.

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The best weapon for your plan is disease.

On the satellites have specially made canisters one type for airborne diseases and another type for water based diseases. In the summer when people are outside release the canisters over the Earth focusing first on heavily populated areas and then more rural areas.

The airborne canisters containing diseases like small pox, several strains of influenza,chicken pox, Cryptococcosis, anthrax, tuberculosis, etc, will open relatively low in the atmosphere so they will spread in the wind but get to potential victims before too much UV can kill them. The waterborne diseases will be released over lakes, rivers and reservoirs, spreading cholera, dysentery, botulism, MRSA, typhoid fever, etc.

You want to spread a wide variety to overwhelm the host and hospitals. Even if a person survives MRSA, the dysentery and influenza will kill him.

The widespread nature of the attack will ensure most people die, those that don't will almost certainly die from secondary causes such as disease, accidents, collapse of society, or despair.

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Since you want to use satellites, here is how you can do it. Arm each of your satellites with the biggest laser imaginable, with enormous solar arrays to power them. Then shoot those lasers at dangerous things, like...

Super Volcanoes!

and

Nuclear Weapon Silos!

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since no timeline as to how quickly the remaining human population must be eliminated by is specified, I think the most targeted weapon to eliminate humans would be to bio engineer some kind of highly infectious virus specific to humans, importantly though you don't want the virus to have any influence on mortality instead you engineer the virus to affect human reproductive organs so that reproduction is impossible for that individual. With some patience and widespread dispersal of the virus through your orbital death platforms into the atmosphere over major population centers the virus should go undetected and then it's just a matter of waiting it out until the now sterile population dies out.

A good idea as well would be to make sure that the virus is only transferable between humans, if anything else can be a vector for it as well you would need to ensure your secret organization has simultaneously developed a cure or immunization to it so they don't also end up sterile.

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